Kees Boterbloem, “Moderniser of Russia: Andrei Vinius, 1641-1716” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
As you can read in any Russian history textbook, a series of seventeenth-century tsars culminating in Peter the Great attempted to “modernize” Russia. This is not false: the Romanovs did initiate a great wave of “Europeanizing” reforms. But it’s not… Read More
Nancy Khalek, “Damascus after the Muslim Conquest” (Oxford University Press, 2011)
A top five finalist for the Best First Book in the History of Religion Award, Damascus after the Muslim Conquest (Oxford University Press, 2011) by Nancy Khalek, professor of Religious Studies at Brown University, is a study of the… Read More
Fabian Drixler, “Mabiki: Infanticide and Population Growth in Eastern Japan, 1660-1950” (University of California Press, 2013)
The book opens on a scene in the mountains of Gumna, Japan. A midwife kneels next to a mother who has just given birth, and she proceeds to strangle the newborn. It’s an arresting way to begin an inspiring new… Read More
Reza Aslan, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” (Random House, 2013)
Christians in the United States and around the world have varying images of Jesus, from one who turns the other cheek to one who brings the sword. Reza Aslan, in his highly popular and beautifully written new book Zealot: The Read More
Wendy Z. Goldman, “Inventing the Enemy: Denunciation and Terror in Stalin’s Russia” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
A period of mass repression and terror swept through the Soviet Union between the years of 1936-39. Following the shocking Kirov assassination and show trials of alleged factory saboteurs, paranoia gripped the nation and culminated in the execution and imprisonment… Read More
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